Article by Sam Machado

Ugly break-ups are the worst. That's why it can feel comforting to jump into bed with the next guy who's willing to give some meaningless sex in the hopes that maybe you'll feel better about the jerk who broke your heart. But is rebound sex really the right way to go when your hope for happily-ever-after has shattered into a million pieces? The answer is complicated—and simple.

Why it Works

You're depressed, confused, anxious and bewildered after that break-up. So hooking up with someone else could help you find that little spark inside that you probably thought had died. Doing another dude might feel like you're cheating on your ex, but you're not. That's why he's your ex. The world is yours now. Rebound sex is a sign that even though you're sad, you can use that sadness to do whatever (and whoever) you feel like. Going to a bar and seeing that cutie across the way can be the perfect approach to help your tension disappear for a while. Wouldn't it help to know that there are others out there willing to feel your gorgeous charm? And even though you're going through a hard time, one day you might look back on this wild escapade and be proud of yourself for not letting your depression win.

Why it Doesn't Work

Sometimes sex with a stranger isn't the healthiest approach. Perhaps you need a couple more months to focus on crying. You might also just want some friend time. When you're at the point of devastation, giving your body to someone else for a meaningless half hour could add stress rather than lower it. It can feel like running a marathon on a broken leg. It also wouldn't be a fun experience if your libido has gone down and there isn't much to work with yet.

Who is the Best Rebound Candidate?

Maybe a stranger is the perfect landscape. You might need to bang someone who won't make you care about his favorite horror movie, his third-grade teacher's name or if he's close with his parents. Maybe he just needs to pound you like a jackhammer. You might feel used, but sometimes (in a strange way) that feeling can be a positive experience. A lot of us don't like to embrace our sleazy sides out of fear of feeling gross or ashamed. But showing a stranger the fireball you are in bed can make you feel like a warrior who is showing this stranger what your ex is missing out on. But perhaps jumping into the sheets isn't your thing. Maybe you need an old flame who you had a couple of drinks with before getting naked. There's nothing like a casual buddy who's great in bed and who can carry on a conversation about your similar interests. Or maybe you just need one of your best gay friends who is willing to comfort you in a time of crisis. You guys already know every detail about each other's sex lives, you bought each other toys and you even "joked" about doing stuff together. Hooking up with a friend can feel weird, but if you guys have "that" kind of relationship, then it might at least be worth a discussion. There is also bar-hopping. Making eyes with a stranger while you're intoxicated can bring that libido right up.

Make it Fun

The short answer is to the best rebound buddy is: whoever makes you comfortable. You might need something wild and ferocious. Or maybe you need something genuine and tender as you let the tears work your way around your body like a flowing waterfall. What it comes down to is if the timing feels right for some rebound sex, then go for it. There is nothing shameful about it; in fact, it can be pretty empowering. Remember this though: if you try it and don't like it, then you don't ever have to do it again. Also, remember that it may not really be "you" doing this hookup. It's just an intriguing side of you.
February 18, 2019 — Andrew Christian